Religion that is pure and undefiled before God the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world. – James 1:27
As the church, we are called to learn to do good, seek justice, help the oppressed, defend the orphan and plead for the widow (Isaiah 1:17). For Christians living in America, adoption and foster care create a significant avenue for discipleship. Ultimately, the relationships formed offer an opportunity for children to see the Gospel lived out in the homes of believers. Faith, forgiveness and love are modeled as each family member functions in relation to the other in the midst of the day-to-day activities. In the mundane of everyday living, a child can tangibly see Christ’s love demonstrated.
Children must be led into adulthood. In order to pursue Biblical virtues and behavior, children must see these characteristics put into practice. A child who is adopted or placed in the foster care system at 5 years old will someday be a 19-year-old. Children who have experienced significant trauma will need the support and encouragement of a family throughout life. The need for role models and relationship is great.
Do you have someone on your heart who has made the commitment to protect or care for the orphan? Encourage them today. Express your gratitude for their willingness to love sacrificially and follow the Lord’s example as He has adopted us as sons and daughters through Jesus Christ (Ephesians 1:5). For Christians, the process of earthly adoption is grounded in the reality of our heavenly adoption. Ask how you can pray for them and the children they are bringing up to love and fear God.
Pray for wisdom for the adults caring for children in foster care who experienced trauma at a young age. It takes courage and sacrificial love to care for and invest in young hearts. Ask God to grant peace and protection to children who have been abused and are without the support of a trusted adult. Pray for hearts to be opened to the hope of the Gospel. May they come to know the Lord as a good and perfect Father.
Pray for the children in foster care whose families are reconciling generational hurt and for the children undergoing difficult reunification processes. May God grant wisdom in the courts and to those in the legal system defending children from harm.
Pray for the men and women who open their home to children in foster care. Pray that the emotional toll would be a catalyst to cling to Christ as their only source for peace and joy. Thank God for the sacrificial love He has so graciously given.
In John 14:18 Jesus said, “I will not leave you as orphans, I will come to you.” We are the orphans rescued by God through the death and resurrection of Jesus. Ask the Lord how you should act as a “doer of the word” (James 1:26-27) and be compassionate towards children without hope. In light of what Christ has done, how can you advocate for our nation’s children?
Download the entire 7-day devotional, Praying for Our Nation's Youth, here: